Trips should be focus, rather than slips

Canadian researchers are warning all home care staff that they must be more aware of the risk of older patients who are subject to tripping and falling. They said that the most common cause is getting their feet caught on table legs or chairs.

The first part of this objective, real-life research analyzing the circumstances and causes making older persons fall have been completed.

What researchers did was to analyze 227 fall videos of 227 happening to 130 individuals which were taken from CCTV cameras installed in the public areas of two care homes. They assessed and evaluated the cause of the fall and what the person was doing when they fell.

They published the result online in The Lancers. According to the authors, they found that slipping accounted for just 3% of falls, although this aspect is the focus of most laboratory-based studies of the dynamics of falling.

They discovered that the most common cause of falling at around 41% was incorrect weight shifting. This happens when the person changes his bodyweight causing the centre of gravity to move outside its base of support.

Giving numerical interpretation of the common causes of falls: trips or stumbles – 21%; hits or bumps – 11%; loss of support – 11%; and collapse – 11%.

Meanwhile, more than a fourth or 25% of trips recorded were results of the foot being caught on a table or chair. The researchers cautioned that said it is important to be aware of this type of hazard which home care staff needs to give more attention.

Study author leader was Professor Stephen Robinovitch, from Simon Fraser University in Canada. He said that through their research, they were able to provide the long-missing objective evidence of the causes and circumstances of falls in elderly people. This finding should motivate more studies made on how to prevent fall injury in long-term care homes.

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